Local trash company bracing for Arvada’s waste hauling changes
A council decision that left a business owner unsure about the future of his local garbage trucking company has spurred an increase in customer support for the company.
Crush Disposal has a little over 3,000 customers, most of them in Arvada. The staff at Crush, which also serves customers in Westminster and Wheat Ridge, knew there was a lot to lose when it came to choosing a single carrier who has explored the city over the past 18 months.
Until 2019 and until 2020 Arvada considered whether a contract should be concluded with just one waste transport company.
Under the contract, non-HOA residents would be automatically billed through the city’s freight forwarder for garbage and recycling services. Republic Services, one of the three other freight forwarders who applied for the contract, was selected as a potential freight forwarder in mid-2019.
The drafted contract allows residents to choose another carrier and pay a monthly fee of $ 5.13 to the city and republic.
Hundreds of individuals spoke to the city council about the contract ahead of the June 15 meeting. Crush’s owner Matt Mazotti urged the city council to consider the “little pieces” in addition to the broad benefits cited by proponents of the contract.
“I’m nervous and I care and all I say is you have to look at the big picture,” he said. “Let the people who know trash take care of trash.”
After hearing from numerous residents on both sides of the issue at that June 15 meeting, the council cast a 4-3 vote to approve the contract.
Pouring out support
Despite the potential downside this could have for the local carrier, “we have received many calls and emails from our current customers saying they don’t care what the opt-out fee is – they stay with us . ” Mazotti told Colorado Community Media.
He estimated that around 10% of his customers called to say they would stay with the company within the first 24 hours of the regulation being passed.
“Our customers want to stand behind us, so we want to stand behind them,” he said.
The city has estimated that between 1% and 3% of around 32,000 non-HOA households pay the minimum monthly fee and seek services through a non-republic garbage company. It has also been predicted that several HOAs will opt for the program in the coming years.
“Switching to a single carrier is likely to put some of the other carriers in Arvada at a disadvantage. Every decision we make always has advantages and disadvantages, ”said City Manager Mark Deven. “People were concerned about noise and air pollution, they were concerned about trucking, they were concerned about our recycling rate. Those were the things we had to weigh against the potential impact on business and customer choice. “
Although the program with the republic doesn’t officially begin until July 2021, residents are already making decisions about whether to participate.
Some, including residents Nancy Eddins, Cambri Hilger, and Heather Taormina, are hoping to stick with Crush because they like the services and disliked their previous services at large corporations, including the Republic.
For others who were skeptical of switching to a single carrier, pricing was a major factor.
“I’m on a tight budget and can’t afford anyone,” said Jules Thrower, a current Crush customer. “Crush is amazing and takes all of my trash that I took out. I have unlimited pick up from them … I will not move to the republic. “
Resident Rick Dalley also outlined a plan to stay with Crush, at least for the near future.
“I’ve been using them for a while now, paying around $ 20 a month with no set limits. As my father used to say, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” said Dalley. “That being said, I’ll be open. I am not against moving to Republic Services in the future. I’ll wait and see how happy people are with their service. “
Others, including residents Suzan Livengood, Joyce Richardson, and Kathryn Wallace, are excited about saving money through the city contract and taking advantage of the program that Deven highlighted.
“We are currently in Crush and will likely stay with them until the city officially passes, as while we are feeling the loss of small businesses with this change, we believe this change is for the common good,” said resident Tom Sisnroy. “We love that this reduces pollution and increases safety by reducing the number of trucks on our roads.”
The resident Iris Horowitz agreed.
“The new organized waste transport system is fairer in that you would only pay for the garbage,” she said. “It’s not a choice between shippers, it’s a choice between an inefficient and costly system, and an upgraded system that offers inexpensive garbage transportation, recycling at no additional cost, and tons of community benefits.”
Regarding Crush, Mazotti said the company is preparing to leave some customers but is hoping for no more than a 20% loss in its Arvada customer base. He added that he wasn’t sure what the future of Crush would be in five years. He hopes that Crush’s efforts to provide services that meet the specific needs of Arvadans will keep customers at Crush, but acknowledged that within a few years, the effects of the deal may leave the company with no choice but to close the business .
Even so, the company aims to stay in Arvada as long as possible.
“Our drivers really care about the Arvada area and we will continue to do what we have to do,” he said. “We’re not going anywhere.”